A Crash-Course in Gold

There are several different types of gold jewelry on the market. They vary in color from white gold to yellow gold to rose gold with several variations in between. Regardless of the look of the piece, gold jewelry, they all come in various karatages like 14, 18 and 24 karats. The kind of gold jewelry you choose is strictly dependent on your own personal tastes and needs. Keep reading to learn about the different types of gold jewelry.

What is Karatage?

In the United States, the standard karatage is 14-karat gold for solid jewelry. Pure gold is measured at 24 karats and is most often used in gold leaf, as it is extremely fragile and not practical for most pieces of jewelry. Compared to a 24-karat piece, a 14-karat piece contains about 58 percent of pure gold. When looking at jewelry, ask about the karatage, or look for an engraving of it, as the karatage is usually marked on pieces. A 10-karat ring contains about 41 percent pure gold. An 18-karat gold ring contains about 75 percent pure gold. A 14-karat piece will be whiter in color, while an 18-karat piece will have a deeper coloring. Since 18-karat pieces have a higher level of metal alloys, it is less durable than one that is 14-karat gold. If your lifestyle is more sedentary, a softer 18-karat piece should be sufficient. Both karatages have advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to the individual as to which karat they prefer.

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold alloys are created when other metals are mixed with gold alloy. Yellow is the most common color used. It is made of gold mixed with zinc and silver. This mixture not only creates a yellow color but also makes a stronger, more durable piece of jewelry. Because it is not pure gold, the cost of it is lower. The karatage system becomes a factor, as it measures the ratio of pure gold to additional metals. Yellow gold is traditionally the most commonly used metal for engagement and wedding rings. It is the easiest type of gold to maintain, yet it is extremely malleable and therefore susceptible to scratches and dents.

White Gold

This color of gold is made up of a mixture of gold and white metals such as silver, nickel and palladium. These other metals help to create a more durable piece of jewelry. Its value relies on its karatage and how much metal was used in its creation. Recently, white gold has become more popular than yellow gold. It is generally more durable, too. It is a cheaper alternative to purchasing platinum, but it may cause irritation for those who have a nickel allergy.

Rose Gold

Rose gold is made of gold with a mixture of copper and silver alloys. The use of the copper and silver help to strengthen the jewelry, making it one of the more durable golds. As the copper gives this gold its rosy color, the more copper that is used, the redder the gold will appear. In some cases, rose gold appears pink. The most common mixture of gold and alloys is 75 percent gold and 25 percent copper. Also, due to the use of copper, this type of metal is less expensive than other options. Fortunately, rose gold does not tarnish, but it still needs to be maintained by being regularly polished and cleaned. This type of metal is becoming more popular, but it is not as readily available as yellow or white gold.

Platinum Gold

This type of metal is naturally white in color and closely resembles white gold. Platinum will remain in good condition as long as the wearer properly maintains the piece. Platinum can be scratched easily and may require more maintenance than gold. Because platinum is a purer piece of jewelry, as it is made up of 95-98 percent platinum, it is a great choice for anyone who has an allergy to certain metals. Unfortunately, it is a more costly metal as it is rarer than gold. Depending on the piece of jewelry, more platinum may be needed. Rings usually require more of this metal, as it is quite dense. As a result, the cost is significantly increased.

Mark’s Diamonds

At Mark’s Diamonds we can custom create your dream engagement ring in the gold color and karatage that’s perfect for you. Book your appointment with us today!

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